Osprey are so unique that they are are no longer considered to be one of the fish hawks, but rather their own distinct family (https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/osprey). We spied this Osprey sitting atop a dead tree and couldn’t resist stopping to watch him as he preened, fluffed himself up, and whistled – but he never left his perch.
Osprey were greatly endangered in the 1950’s-60’s, prior to the ban on the pesticide DDT. But they have made a successful comeback in recent decades, and we see them everywhere here in southeast Florida.
I love this direct and succinct description of the Osprey‘s habitat and feeding habits: “Diet consists almost exclusively of live fish, which it catches by diving and hitting the water feet first. Breeds wherever there are fish . . .“. (Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America, p.118).
This powerful, large raptor displays a fascinating behavior that I learned recently from a local naturalist. After the Osprey has caught a fish in both talons, he actually turns the fish so that the fish is pointed head first, in order to decrease wind resistance as the Osprey flies to its perch to eat his catch!
Check here for more interesting info!